Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 14, Number 37 | September 22, 2013
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
Genealogy Roadshow Series To Premiere This Week
The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) new series, Genealogy Roadshow, will air four times on Mondays, September 23–October 14, 9–10 pm Eastern Time from Austin, Detroit, Nashville and San Francisco. Genealogy Roadshow is structurally similar to Antiques Roadshow and is modeled after an Irish TV program of the same name which is in its second season in Ireland on RTE Television. Experts in genealogy, history and DNA testing will use information provided by participants such as family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery.
According to Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter the first show was videotaped at San Francisco’s Old Mint, and the program will reveal stories tying citizens to the 1906 earthquake, notorious gangsters, war heroes and two brutal murders. A woman who suspects family ties to the Gold Rush learns that a 19th-century workplace murder claimed the life of an ancestor. An Irish-American woman discovers how a devastating earthquake brought her grandparents together. One family’s ancestry mirrors American history, with familial ties to both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. A Chinese-American woman finds out the truth about her family’s ties to Chinatown gangster “Big Jim” Chin, and family heirlooms connect a man to the sole survivor of the 1860 Wiyot Massacre.
History Map of the United States
If you are interested in the geographic history of how the United States became 50 states from the original 13 formed in 1789, there is a video that provides a map and narrative of the growth. Each year an additional state or territory was acquired, the narrative describes how the event came about—war, politics, purchase. It is located at http://www.animatedatlas.com/movie. Click the Play button at the top of the screen to activate the program.
Red Star Line Museum Opens September 28
The Red Star Line Museum will open to the public in Antwerp, Belgium, on September 28. Between 1873 and 1934, 2.6 million Europeans emigrated via Antwerp, Europe’s second largest port city, using the Red Star Line. The museum is at the site of warehouses once used to process immigrants. The main exhibition tells the stories of these passengers. As a visitor, you travel with them, from various areas of Europe by train to Antwerp, through the city and over the ocean to America. One aspect of the museum highlights 20 personal stories of passengers who traveled on the Red Star Line. They include composer Irving Berlin and physicist Albert Einstein.
There will be opening ceremonies on September 27. Belgium’s King Philippe will attend.
The museum’s website is at http://www.redstarline.org. A brief description of the history of Red Star Line and the museum can be found at the Forward site http://forward.com/articles/177629/belgium-museum-will-tell-story-of-red-star-line-th/?p=all.
FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.7 Million Records This Week
Recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/node/2378. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland. None are records from the United States.
Note that at the website announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection.
MyHeritage Now Allows Attaching Found Records to Family Tree
MyHeritage has launched a new feature that permits saving of records found using their SuperSearch facility (http://www.myheritage.com/research) directly to the relevant profiles on your family tree. The company stated, “The new feature is a step in our mission to combine family trees and historical records in the best possible way and make it easier for our users to make the most of both.”
Information about the feature is at http://blog.myheritage.com/2013/09/new-feature-save-records-to-your-tree/
IIJG Announces Grant Awards
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy in Jerusalem has announced that three of the proposals submitted to it have received awards. They include:
• "A Genealogical History of the Jews of Pinczow (Poland) in the 18th and 19th Centuries" awarded to Prof. Heshel Teitelbaum of Ottawa, Canada, for a study.
• "Destruction of the Jewish Community of Tarrega in 1348 and Its Re-constitution" to Maria Jose Surribas of Barcelona, Spain.
• "Jews, Frankists and Converts in Habsburg Moravia, 1700-1900" to Prof. Michael Miller of Budapest, Hungary.
Teitelbaum's research presents a novel approach to creating extended family trees for the Jewish residents of an entire Polish town. Second, the process necessarily generates surnames for Jews otherwise known only by their patronyms. Third, this proposal introduces, for the first time, the concept of synthesizing group-trees for each of several classes (political leaders, rabbis and teachers, tradesmen, craftsmen, merchants etc.) and for examining the possibility of social mobility between these classes. Finally, the author will, for the first time, analyze the history of the scholarly class in Pinczow on a large scale and identify hitherto unknown family links between various rabbinic dynasties.
Surribas will identify the Jews that had lived in Tarrega before 1348 and after the reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter; explore the family names that disappeared because of the 1348’s pogrom, its population data, the social, political and economic profiles of the Jewish community; and will map the localities where the Jews of Tarrega lived at critical dates.
Miller's project will examine the ancestors and descendants of thirty-five Jews who converted to Catholicism in the summer of 1773, a few months after Jacob Frank, the infamous "false messiah," arrived to the Habsburg province of Moravia. This "mass conversion" in Prossnitz (Prostejov, Czech Republic) provides a unique lens through which to view Jewish-Christian relations in Central Europe on the eve of the Enlightenment. By tracing the genealogy of these converts forwards and backwards, Miller would like to understand the contours of the emerging "semi-neutral" society, in which boundaries between Jews and Gentiles were dissolved as new forms of sociability replaced the hierarchical relationship that had defined Christian-Jewish relations for centuries.
The organization’s website is at http://iijg.org.
German Library Publishes List of Owners of Looted Books
In the search of the rightful owners, the Municipal Library of Nuremberg (Stadtbibliothek im Bildungscampus Nürnberg) has published a list of 1,390 names of individuals, companies and institutions from 300 towns all over Europe that appear in looted books in their collection which they wish to return to their owners. The books were found at the end of World War II in the editorial offices of the anti-Semitic periodical Der Stürmer and in the private residence of its editor and chief, Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, at Cadolzburg near Fürth. Further information, including the list of owners is at http://www.lootedart.com.
Wiesbaden Holocaust Victims List Online
It was noted on a posting to the JewishGen German-SIG Discussion Group that a list of more than 1,500 Holocaust victims from Wiesbaden, Germany, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/WiesbList. For most persons it provides name (including birth surname of married women), birth date and place, address, deportation date and place, death date and place.
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